Blog

Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

The Endgame is here

Indeed it’s the night before endgame – Avengers Endgame, that is. I am beyond excited to finally watch this three-hour movie tomorrow evening, and I’ve got my strategy all planned out. Honestly though for such a long and important movie, they really should’ve built in an intermission in the middle, but that would rob theatres of precious time to cram in as many showings as possible – something they’d never forsake. So that means I will have to control my fluid intake before and during the movie, so to avoid having to use the restroom during.

The plan is simple: no water intake two hours before show time, and only start replenishing (slowly) about an hour into the movie. I reckon that should be sufficient; fingers crossed.

You’d think for such an important movie event - on ticket pre-release day all major theatre chain systems crashed due to demand – I’d be watching the movie tonight instead. Or more extremely I’d have flew back home to China because the Endgame is (unfairly) released two days earlier there than the States.

Well, as to the first suggestion, I can’t physical do a Thursday evening showing because I have work, not to mention the likelihood of me getting those tickets was very slim. As for flying to China, now is not a good time because the weather there is getting hot and humid, and the seasonal monsoon has arrived. Also, I simply don’t have the money: I did just pay loads for a Porsche back in January.

I mean, what’s an extra day of wait for a movie that I’ve been anticipating since I came out of the theatre from watching Avengers Infinity War. I haven’t been this full of eagerness for a film since the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. At least for Return of the King I knew the ending because I’ve read the book; I’m heading into Endgame completely blind to what the story is going to be, and that makes it extra bit more special.

But that entails fending off potential spoilers: since this Monday I’ve muted all possible words related to Endgame on twitter, and it’s so far so good. With people actually getting the opportunity to watch the film starting this evening, I may have to log-off the platform entirely from now until after I’ve seen the movie tomorrow night.

I’ll see you all on the other side.

This is brilliant: two Fiat 500s fitting in one San Francisco street parking spot.

Quick thoughts on 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Last evening I finally saw Crazy Rich Asians, and it's everything I thought I didn’t need but my god is it ever so beautifully there. I've stated before that the whole Asian-American representation thing wasn't as big a deal for me as it is for others, but Crazy Rich Asians proved me utterly foolish: it was so awesome to see an English language film full of normal characters I can identify with on a cultural level. 

I never thought the jubilation I got from watching Better Luck Tomorrow the first time could be found again, yet here I am, profoundly moved by Crazy Rich Asians.  

What a wonderful adaption of the novel by director Jon M. Chu and company. Speaking as someone who have read the book, the movie excellently cherry-picked the major components of the story, presenting it with a simplistic fluidity that's equally satisfying for those who haven't read the source material. The minute details on how particular plot-points came to be are all in the novel, should audiences choose to dive deeper. 

I especially loved how even when the film deviates from the book - like the final arc,  little homages are sprinkled in as a nod to those that have read it. It's brilliantly done. 

There were two moments in the film where someone in the theatre was for sure chopping onions: when Kina Grannis (as herself) started singing Can’t Help Falling In Love during the wedding sequence, and in the ending scenes where a cover of Coldplay's Yellow is sung in the background.  

I really dig how Crazy Rich Asians is unabashedly, well, Asian: the themes and motifs are just as they are, pure and unexplained. Particularly, the crucial mahjong scene is sheer genius in it’s absence of how the game is played and what the individual tiles stood for. The creators didn't care you don't know mahjong: it's simply there, unreservedly. The intertwining of Chinese culture within Crazy Rich Asians is deeply heartfelt because it's such catharsis to see it presented without patronization. 

The sequel cannot come soon enough.  

 

For the culture. 

For the culture. 

'Crazy Rich Asians' tops the movie charts

Crazy Rich Asians is the number one movie in America, taking in over $26 million dollars over the weekend. Good job to Warner Brothers for carving out a release date that didn't coincide with any other traditional "blockbusters", because $26 million is but a drop in the bucket for the likes of a Marvel super hero film. Apples to oranges comparisons aside, I'm supremely happy to see Crazy Rich Asians get so well received and a certified critical and financial success.

No thanks to me because I will not be seeing the movie until this Wednesday. Why so late? Because a friend of mine did not return from her European vacation until late into the weekend; usually I'd watch it without her but she's the only person I know that has read the novel so the whole point was to see the movie together. Is it difficult to wait a few additional days after having already waited a few years for this film? Yes, it really is, because as per usual the Internet doesn't help. 

It actually behooved me to watch Crazy Rich Asians during opening weekend because that's the most important measure according to the studio. Being the first major studio film with majority Asian cast in 25 years, there's a ton of future possibilities for the Asian-American community riding on Crazy Rich Asians. By failing to see it this past weekend, I did a major disservice to my people. 

You know what though, my brother went to see it. I'll enjoin my intentions with his actual contributions and count that as one package. The fact Crazy Rich Asians outperformed even the highest of expectations in the box office lessens my guilt considerably. 

So does this mean sequels? Kevin Kwan did indeed write two more novels to the series, and Netflix had offered him a three-picture deal that was ultimately rejected. I'll have to see for myself what sort of changes they've done in the adaptation to film, because the second book largely hinges on a crucial plot-point concerning the main character Rachel. If that is missing from the movie then I don't see how a sequel can be done, assuming basis on the second book China Rich Girlfriend.  

I shall see on Wednesday. Excited. 

Here we have the SF MOMA in its natural habitat. 

Here we have the SF MOMA in its natural habitat. 

What if

I would I do if I knew I could not fail? So many things. And I'm going to do all of it, too. Catharsis is the only sort of drug I get behind. 

Looking forward to watching Captain America this weekend. Should have watched it the previous weekend because this week's Marvel Agents of Shield contained major spoilers. Good thing I was never one to be too bothered by spoilers. A person told me Dumbledore died before I had the chance to read the book and I wasn't nearly as hysterical as some people got.